Read Impact Factory's Customer Service and Relationship Building Training
True development isn't the quick fix, but more importantly, the long view.
Of course, bottom line is hugely important, but companies that get the balance right are the ones who most likely will be able to withstand whatever the future throws at them.
Hewitt Associates is one such company. They are one of the premier global outsourcing and consultancy firms and have just been named 'Pensions and Benefits Consultancy of the Year' at the recent 2004 Professional Pensions Award ceremony.
The company is packed with specialist professionals, respected, valued and rewarded for their remarkable expertise.
They are supremely intelligent and gifted in their own field.
Hewitt needs them to be more than experts, however, and among the many things we do for this company, our task was to devise an in-depth Building Business Relationships Programme for a selected group of people on client relationship managers.
Devised and delivered by the founding partners, the programme is called:
Better Relationships = Better Results
It covers such 'technical' topics as how to 'schmooze' the client, deciding the appropriate opening gambit at events and gatherings, joining and leaving groups of people, having a meeting be more than an information exchange.
We 'played' with the idea that you don't need to ring your clients only to talk business, but to build and maintain the relationship. Which of course, takes us into the whole realm of what good client relationships are all about.
It's very easy (and very natural) to fall back on expertise when feeling uncomfortable; after all, that's what clients hire experts for in the first place.
In the second place, however, is where the future lies: the on-going, loyal and mutual rapport and connection that keeps relationships thriving.
Therefore, we placed particular emphasis on how to build trusting relationships (and getting people to see there really is a difference between trust and risk) and on the fact that clients and consultants do not see situations, issues and challenges in the same way.
If there is one thing that's key with client relationship building, it's the ability to see what the client is seeing, not what you wish them to see - or even know is the right thing to see.
From there we have Hewitt participants experiment with a variety of meeting scenarios, including introducing other colleagues to the client and handling tricky situations, or even the possibility of going through most of a meeting without talking business at all.
This course is aimed at the top fliers in the company, the 'early adopters' and champions of innovation.
The future of Hewitt looks good in their hands.
If you would like to talk to us about a
Relationship Building Programme
or any of the other
professional personal development
work we do, call us on
+44 (0)20 7226 1877
or e-mail us at
Building Business Relationships